After an abysmal debut last week, Eagles rookie quarterback Clayton Thorson redeems himself with a solid showing against the Jaguars.
When the Philadelphia Eagles selected Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson in the fifth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, many were puzzled. The idea of selecting a quarterback in the mid-rounds this year wasn’t a surprise — but the selection itself was shocking.
To put it bluntly, Thorson didn’t have the highest track record in the NCAA. Although he was a four-year starter at Northwestern, his production didn’t really stand out on the stat sheets. And the game film, well, that wasn’t so great either. Regardless though, the Eagles set themselves up with quite a challenge for this season as they are looking to groom Thorson.
In training camp, Thorson struggled to establish a rhythm. Initially, he entered into camp as third-string on the depth chart but slowly regressed to fourth-string behind Cody Kessler. Last week, Thorson had an opportunity to flip the narrative on his bad offseason as he got some second-half reps against the Tennessee Titans. Instead, he added fuel to the fire.
Last week’s struggles created a dreadful feeling ahead of week two’s matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Knowing that Thorson would get bumped up to second-string in Thursday’s game with Nate Sudfeld and Carson Wentz out, it was expected he was going to get more minutes. And after Cody Kessler went down with a head injury in the first couple minutes of the game, Thorson had to play all four quarters as he was the only quarterback left.
The re-introduction of Clayton Thorson
For his first drive, Thorson flashed the same NFL jitters he showed last week. Granted, bad snaps and lousy blocking didn’t do the rookie any favors — but it was still looking like it was going to be another long game by the Thorson-led offense. Fortunately, the rookie changed the narrative.
During a drive early on in the second quarter, Thorson established a rhythm, which had everybody’s attention. He capped it off with an impressive 50/50 ball to roster hopeful, Greg Ward for 38-yards and a score. From there on out, Thorson kept the momentum rolling and finished off the night by completing 16 of his 26 attempted passes for a touchdown, and an unlucky interception.
By no means was the rookie perfect, but he surely stepped up his game during his second preseason effort. Depending on the status of Cody Kessler, Thorson could realistically start for the Eagles next week if they elect to keep Wentz out for the preseason. There were some promising results for the Eagles’ rookie project this week.